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How to Become a US Army Special Forces Soldier

The terms Green Beret and Silent Professional are other names for the best trained warriors in the world, the US Army Special Forces soldier. Special Forces soldiers belong to the US Army Special Operations Command and serve their country all over the world performing both combat and non-combat missions that cannot be carried out by conventional forces.

With the War on Terror and in Iraq the conventional battlefields no longer exist. We as a country have been relying on special operations soldiers more and more. For that reason there has been an increase in the number of civilians and soldiers that have been applying for training in special operations. There are two ways that an individual interested in becoming a Special Forces soldier can achieve their goal. What follows is a breakdown of how to become a Special Forces professional.

The most commonly known way to join the special operations community is to be a soldier at the on set of the process. Special Forces recruiters hold informational briefings at every Army installation annually. This is usually the first exposure that a soldier will have with the special operations community. Soldiers can also visit the Special Forces Recruiting website to find out how to get the process started. Enlisted soldiers must be an active duty male soldier, U.S. citizen (non-waiverable), score a minimum of 229 on the Army Physical Fitness test, and be eligible for a “SECRET” security clearance. Additionally applicants will have to complete a 50 meter swim in full uniform. Enlisted soldiers must also be in the pay grade of E4 though E7 with no more than 12 years in service and no mare than 9 months time in grade. A general technical score of 100 or higher is also mandatory. All enlisted applicants must have a minimum of 36 months remaining in service upon completion of training.

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The other way that an interested individual can apply for entry into the Special Forces is reserved for civilians. This process is started by contacting a US Army Recruiter. All the basic requirements for enlistment apply to this program as well. The Military Occupational Specialty that you will enlist for is known as Special Forces Recruit (18X). There are four entry level SF jobs that you can be trained in: Special Forces Weapons, Engineer, Medical or Communications Sergeant. Your background and aptitude will determine which of these four jobs you will be in trained in. SF candidates are required to complete Infantry One Station Unit Training located at Ft Benning Georgia. Once that is done candidates will have to attend and pass Airborne school. From there they will attend a 4-week Special Operations Preparation Course and the Special Forces Assessment and Selection program. The program assesses and selects soldiers to attend the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC).

The SFQC teaches and develops the skills necessary for effective utilization of the SF Soldier. The course is broken down into three phases. The Individual Skills phase is where soldiers are in-processed and trained on common skills. Things like small unit tactics and land navigation are some of the skills emphasized at this point. The next phase is the MOS Qualification Phase is 65 days long and is where the soldier is trained on the MOS selected for them based on earlier testing. The last 38 day phase is known as the Collective Training Phase. Here Soldiers are trained
in Special Operations (SO) classes, Direct Action (DA) Isolation, Air
Operations, Unconventional Warfare classes, and Isolation training.

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Language training may also take place if the applicant has proven that he has an aptitude to learn one exist. This training is completed at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. The length of this training is determined by the language to be learned and the needs of the Army.

Soldiers trained in special operations have always and will always exist. It is not difficult to see that with the War on Terror that we will always train and deploy the best warriors in the world. Young men need only answer the call to duty.